How is your truck/barge as lock down ended

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  • Evening all...

    I was wondering how everyone's trucks/buses/campers/barges etc were faring as lockdown is eased.

    Our beloved camper parked up on a site about first week in March (supposedly for about a month). As lock down came on 23rd we were thrown off site with about two hours notice. We were lucky however as we were expecting lockdown to happen we had already found some temporary accommodation if needed. So, we had somewhere to live but the camper was basically impounded on a locked site.

    Fast forward to now, the camper hasn't been touched since first week in March until today and we managed to get in the now unlocked gate. I was expecting the worse...flat battery, square wheels, locked on brakes etc...you get the picture.

    Couldn't believe it, the wonderful machine started up first second of turning the key and nimbly moved a little to change tyre position. Will be leaving site in a couple of days (has to be off site by 13th July anyway) and can it checked properly. Like many vehicles it is now overdue for servicing and MOT.

    Hope every one else's vehicles and barges etc come out of the lockdown just as easily

  • I was locked down in mine so I've been able to move it back and forth to change the position of the tyres relative to the ground and keep beasties out, charge the batteries and yesterday I even washed it! The tyres could do with some more air in, but okay apart from that.

  • Good news there stirlingb!

    Mines been parked up at my old mans yard since the start of it all, battery flat every time I go to move it around so I just bought a small solar battery top up thingy this week. Hopefully gonna take it for a little trundle later this week to shine the discs back up & give it a good charge.

  • It wasn't all good news...I could have done without the giant spiders web going from steering wheel to rear view mirror. What made it worse was that I couldn't actually find the 8 legged beast...must be in the vehicle somewhere and it's probably hungry

  • I’ve been messing with servicing brakes (for over a month now). after front brake started binding at the beginning of lockdown and getting hot. Being a rare vehicle, I bought the last and only 41’’ front O/S flexi brake hose in the Country. Last made in 2000. It took 3 weeks to locate and post.


    When it arrived and I had removed the old “knackered” Flexi hose, I realised it was for the N/S only. Bends/ two crimped brackets/ chassis keyway etc was opposite and wrong way round...... I tried to get a new hose made but due to lockdown, no joy....
    Rewind a couple of years.....car-boot to the rescue. I bought an amazing quality 10mm pipe bender for £4. They sell for £60 + secondhand on ebay. I kept it for bending lpg gas pipes in vehicles.


    I used this tool to carefully rebend metal flexi pipe ends to fit, I swapped brackets round and made new key way. Managed to finish servicing brake, reconnect and bleed them yesterday.
    So I’m mobile again and need a test run.

  • I have started and moved Bubbles back and forth a few times .last week I blipped the trottle and it stayed blipping , tried a few little stabs on the pedal, pushed it to the floor then had t kill the engine and fiddle about before I admitted to myself the cable is seized up a bit.

  • remember to manually lift the windscreen wiper blades up off the glass, clean undernieth before hitting the wipe switch next time it rains. That sun turns muck into glue and it could prevent any damage.
    Tip, wipe blades with a cloth dipped in vinegar to revitalise them. :)

  • mines been locked up but nephew been shunting up an down farm track couple of times a week bless him mot run out 18th June so will have to get that sorted

    6 month moritorium for some mots due to covid19. .. I hope so anyway because mine has otherwise expired😕👍


    Been living in mine full time as usual and as usual it's devoloping expensive to fix problems.

  • 6 month moritorium for some mots due to covid19. .. I hope so anyway because mine has otherwise expired😕👍


    Been living in mine full time as usual and as usual it's devoloping expensive to fix problems.

    anything that can be sorted out (without paying garage prices) ?

    One thing I’ve learned, not all mechanical repairs require a apprenticeship of experience, or a garage full of tools and a 4 post lift. Some of these mechanics might come across as magicians, but behave more like charlatans.
    Even sourcing parts yourself can be an eye opener. Google and YouTube have become my go to classroom, as it allows me to remain remote, while being independent and skint.

    I got a quote to supply 2 x flexi brake hoses and have them fitted at my regular mot garage. Supply flexi brake hoses = £79.00 each. I only needed the one hose replacing to get me going, I bought a Brand new (old stock) genuine County flexi hose off a Transit County enthusiast for £20 posted.
    Garage wanted £350 for the work, supply and fit hoses. I bought 5 litre of brake fluid for £23 delivered, enough brake fluid to practice bleeding the brake system about 10 times over or do 5 vehicles. Total bill for my DIY repair £43. I had meths and half can of brake cleaner (picked up at carboot) for about 50p each.


    Since I didn’t have a job to go to, it pays me to do the work. :)

    This year I’ve fixed Propshaft bearing,, viscous fan clutch, and front brake flexi pipe, all prep work for MOT and still had change out of £100 for fish/chip supper and a piss up. :thumbup:And I’m no mechanic or even mechanically minded.

  • 6 month moritorium for some mots due to covid19. .. I hope so anyway because mine has otherwise expired😕👍


    Been living in mine full time as usual and as usual it's devoloping expensive to fix problems.

    grandson been on gov website it says mine ok till December was due June 18th but i read that it ends on 1st August going in for some body work then will test it

  • anything that can be sorted out (without paying garage prices) ?

    One thing I’ve learned, not all mechanical repairs require a apprenticeship of experience, or a garage full of tools and a 4 post lift. Some of these mechanics might come across as magicians, but behave more like charlatans.
    Even sourcing parts yourself can be an eye opener. Google and YouTube have become my go to classroom, as it allows me to remain remote, while being independent and skint.

    I got a quote to supply 2 x flexi brake hoses and have them fitted at my regular mot garage. Supply flexi brake hoses = £79.00 each. I only needed the one hose replacing to get me going, I bought a Brand new (old stock) genuine County flexi hose off a Transit County enthusiast for £20 posted.
    Garage wanted £350 for the work, supply and fit hoses. I bought 5 litre of brake fluid for £23 delivered, enough brake fluid to practice bleeding the brake system about 10 times over or do 5 vehicles. Total bill for my DIY repair £43. I had meths and half can of brake cleaner (picked up at carboot) for about 50p each.


    Since I didn’t have a job to go to, it pays me to do the work. :)

    This year I’ve fixed Propshaft bearing,, viscous fan clutch, and front brake flexi pipe, all prep work for MOT and still had change out of £100 for fish/chip supper and a piss up. :thumbup:And I’m no mechanic or even mechanically minded.

    Despite being a 48 (edit:I'm 47 but wishing myself into the grave subconsciously) year old crank I came to vehicle ownership only recently and before coming across the DIY encouragement on this website (you all know who you are and thanks again) did some failed repairs on my first vehicle.


    I try to have a crack at fixes that I can visualise after watching YouTube vids and reading advice available on line and here.


    The garage I use is rare in my area in dealing with lwb, high roof, 3.5 ton vehicles. The rates are competitive and usually they will fit in an assessment of problems without charge. They will also use parts that I supply if I can find the parts cheaper.


    Edit: I've supplied new parts for a couple of jobs (brake fluid hose under engine and the bits that support the fwd wheel bearing [I went with the expensive bearing though] ) and achieved savings of apx £300 in total.


    For gearbox they could not compete.


    I can slap some tape on things and repair failed door mechanisms sometimes but if I can't visualise the problem and mechanism and fix it Roadside (literally) then I'm stuffed.


    When my last van was no longer economically viable for me I had the very good fortune to be on an old school (understanding) campsite that allowed me to have two vans on site whilst insulating and swapping out gear.


    Sometimes I get lucky.

  • Hi and yes I had to give that some serious thought. Had some external power problems with an inverter go down but other than that the great Covid na na na na 19 disaster more plasters please Dr.. Hmmm I feel I faired well.

    My tobacco tin hole in the wall store of friendly queens faces, nearly wrote faeces is depleted.. But mother work has appeared again and I'm in squirrel mode.

  • At last, further to starting this thread last Thursday, today was the day for actually moving the camper.

    Started first time and moved about 6 miles to a new storage place whilst we finish doing up house (nearly finished with house project:)). Sadly nowhere to stick camper at the house, but only parked up about a mile away.

    It never missed a beat despite the lengthy inactivity so am breathing a sigh of relief...will feel better again when it has a had a little TLC with a mechanic.

    For anyone interested, the camper is an H reg (29 years old) Hymer 644. It isn't the posh Mercedes version, it's the Fiat Ducato TD Max 2500cc version. Although getting on in years it only has 100k miles on the clock. At 65, (yee gods I'm more than twice as old as the camper!), I'm hoping that this camper will see out whatever travelling years I have left. If any of you techno experts know anything about the Fiat Ducato TD Max 2500cc engine I would love to here from you. I'm guessing not as good as the Mercedes version for the Hymer but hopefully cheaper to repair and get parts for. Constructive comments welcome...

  • just going a bit off topic got my my road tax renewal my MOT run out June 18th so tried to see if they would tax and it went through according to GOV web site no need to MOT till December but think i will do it just having some body work sorted

  • just going a bit off topic got my my road tax renewal my MOT run out June 18th so tried to see if they would tax and it went through according to GOV web site no need to MOT till December but think i will do it just having some body work sorted

    Yup... Despite the government being shitty self interested and self promoting arseholes who want to deny everything the mot extension is written in stone.


    My road tax auto renews and mot is now due Nov instead of May... No probs here either.

  • Not sure how the extensions are finally working Bigbear. There is time for the powers that be to do an automatic extension on their computery things yet. Might be worth keeping an eye on the DVLA site at regular intervals to see if you get something before 15th.


    I'm trying to imagine thousands of people after lockdown trying to get overdue servicing and general repairs done over the next month or so. You might struggle even getting a booking. Or perhaps you could get a booking on the basis that you could always cancel it if you get an extension?